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The Zwicky Transient Facility: Science Objectives

Graham, Matthew J. and Kulkarni, S. R. and Adams, Scott M. and Blagorodnova, Nadejda and Coughlin, Michael W. and De, Kishalay and Fremling, Christoffer and Goldstein, Daniel A. and Ho, Anna Y. Q. and Kasliwal, Mansi M. and Kupfer, Thomas and Mahabal, Ashish A. and Prince, Thomas A. and Yan, Lin and Ye, Quan-Zhi and Barlow, Tom and Duev, Dmitry A. and Kuhn, Michael and Beck, Ron and Brooke, Tim and Desai, Vandana and Flynn, David and Groom, Steven and Hacopians, Eugean and Helou, George and Howell, Justin and Imel, David and Jackson, Edward and Landry, Walter and Laher, Russ R. and Masci, Frank J. and Monkewitz, Serge and Rusholme, Ben and Shupe, David L. and Surace, Jason and Terek, Scott and Andreoni, Igor and Burdge, Kevin and Hillenbrand, Lynne A. and Belicki, Justin and Burruss, Rick and Cromer, John and Dekany, Richard and Delacroix, Alex and Feeney, Michael and Hale, David and Henning, John and Hover, David and Kaye, Stephen and Mao, Peter and Porter, Michael and Reiley, Dan and Riddle, Reed and Rodriguez, Hector and Smith, Roger M. and Walters, Richard and Zolkower, Jeffry and Murphy, Patrick (2019) The Zwicky Transient Facility: Science Objectives. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 131 (1001). Art. No. 078001. ISSN 0004-6280.

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The Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), a public–private enterprise, is a new time-domain survey employing a dedicated camera on the Palomar 48-inch Schmidt telescope with a 47 deg^2 field of view and an 8 second readout time. It is well positioned in the development of time-domain astronomy, offering operations at 10% of the scale and style of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) with a single 1-m class survey telescope. The public surveys will cover the observable northern sky every three nights in g and r filters and the visible Galactic plane every night in g and r. Alerts generated by these surveys are sent in real time to brokers. A consortium of universities that provided funding ("partnership") are undertaking several boutique surveys. The combination of these surveys producing one million alerts per night allows for exploration of transient and variable astrophysical phenomena brighter than r ~ 20.5 on timescales of minutes to years. We describe the primary science objectives driving ZTF, including the physics of supernovae and relativistic explosions, multi-messenger astrophysics, supernova cosmology, active galactic nuclei, and tidal disruption events, stellar variability, and solar system objects.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Graham, Matthew J.0000-0002-3168-0139
Kulkarni, S. R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Adams, Scott M.0000-0001-5855-5939
Blagorodnova, Nadejda0000-0003-0901-1606
Coughlin, Michael W.0000-0002-8262-2924
De, Kishalay0000-0002-8989-0542
Fremling, Christoffer0000-0002-4223-103X
Goldstein, Daniel A.0000-0003-3461-8661
Ho, Anna Y. Q.0000-0002-9017-3567
Kasliwal, Mansi M.0000-0002-5619-4938
Kupfer, Thomas0000-0002-6540-1484
Mahabal, Ashish A.0000-0003-2242-0244
Prince, Thomas A.0000-0002-8850-3627
Yan, Lin0000-0003-1710-9339
Ye, Quan-Zhi0000-0002-4838-7676
Duev, Dmitry A.0000-0001-5060-8733
Kuhn, Michael0000-0002-0631-7514
Desai, Vandana0000-0002-1340-0543
Groom, Steven0000-0001-5668-3507
Helou, George0000-0003-3367-3415
Howell, Justin0000-0002-5924-0629
Laher, Russ R.0000-0003-2451-5482
Masci, Frank J.0000-0002-8532-9395
Rusholme, Ben0000-0001-7648-4142
Shupe, David L.0000-0003-4401-0430
Surace, Jason0000-0001-7291-0087
Andreoni, Igor0000-0002-8977-1498
Burdge, Kevin0000-0002-7226-836X
Riddle, Reed0000-0002-0387-370X
Walters, Richard0000-0002-1835-6078
Additional Information:© 2019 Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Received 2018 September 6; accepted 2019 January 21; published 2019 May 22. Based on observations obtained with the Samuel Oschin 48-inch Telescope and the 60-inch Telescope at the Palomar Observatory as part of the Zwicky Transient Facility project, a scientific collaboration among the California Institute of Technology, the Oskar Klein Centre, the Weizmann Institute of Science, the University of Maryland, the University of Washington, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the TANGO Program of the University System of Taiwan. Further support is provided by the U.S. National Science Foundation under grant No. AST-1440341. J. Sollerman acknowledges support from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. E. Ofek is grateful for support by a grant from the Israeli Ministry of Science, ISF, Minerva, BSF, BSF transformative program, and the I-CORE Program of the Planning and Budgeting Committee and The Israel Science Foundation (grant No. 1829/12). A. Gal-Yam is supported by the EU via ERC grant No. 725161, the Quantum Universe I-Core program, the ISF, the BSF Transformative program and by a Kimmel award. S. Gezari is supported in part by NSF CAREER grant 1454816 and NSF AAG grant 1616566. C.-K. Chang, W.-H. Ip, C.-D. Lee, Z.-Y. Lin, C.-C. Ngeow, and P.-C. Yu thank the funding from Ministry of Science and Technology (Taiwan) under grant 104-2923-M-008-004-MY5, 104-2112-M-008-014-MY3, 105-2112-M-008-002-MY3, 106-2811-M-008-081, and 106-2112-M-008-007. M. Bulla and A. Goobar acknowledge support from the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) and the Swedish National Space Board. E. Bellm, B. Bolin, A. Connolly, V. Z. Golkhou, D. Huppenkothen, Z. Ivezić L. Jones, M. Juric, and M. Patterson acknowledge support from the University of Washington College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Astronomy, and the DIRAC Institute. University of Washington's DIRAC Institute is supported through generous gifts from the Charles and Lisa Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences, and the Washington Research Foundation. M. Juric and A. Connolly acknowledge the support of the Washington Research Foundation Data Science Term Chair fund, and the UW Provost's Initiative in Data-Intensive Discovery. E. Bellm, A. Connolly, Z. Ivezić L. Jones, M. Juric, and M. Patterson acknowledge support from the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, which is supported in part by the National Science Foundation through Cooperative Agreement 1258333 managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), and the Department of Energy under contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515 with the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. Additional LSST funding comes from private donations, grants to universities, and in-kind support from LSSTC Institutional Members. B.T. Bolin acknowledges funding for the Asteroid Institute program provided by B612 Foundation, W.K. Bowes Jr. Foundation, P. Rawls Family Fund, and two anonymous donors in addition to general support from the B612 Founding Circle. M.T. Soumagnac acknowledges support by a grant from IMOS/ISA, the Ilan Ramon fellowship from the Israel Ministry of Science and Technology and the Benoziyo center for Astrophysics at the Weizmann Institute of Science. A. A. Miller is funded by the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Corporation in support of the Data Science Fellowship Program. J. Bauer, T. Farnham, and M. Kelley gratefully acknowledge the NASA/University of Maryland/MPC Augmentation through the NASA Planetary Data System Cooperative Agreement NNX16AB16A. M. M. Kasliwal and Q.-Z. Ye acknowledge support by the GROWTH (Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen) project funded by the National Science Foundation PIRE (Partnership in International Research and Education) program under Grant No 1545949. A. A. Mahabal acknowledges support from the following grants: NSF AST-1749235, NSF-1640818, and NASA 16-ADAP16-0232. M. W. Coughlin is supported by the David and Ellen Lee Postdoctoral Fellowship at the California Institute of Technology. S. Ghosh acknowledges the NSF award PHY-1607585. M. Rigault acknowledges funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 759194—USNAC). Facilities: PO:1.2 m - , PO:1.5m -.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC), Zwicky Transient Facility
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Knut and Alice Wallenberg FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Ministry of Science (Israel)UNSPECIFIED
Israel Science Foundation1829/12
Binational Science Foundation (USA-Israel)UNSPECIFIED
I-CORE Program of the Planning and Budgeting CommitteeUNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)725161
Ministry of Science and Technology (Taipei)104-2923-M-008-004-MY5
Ministry of Science and Technology (Taipei)104-2112-M-008-014-MY3
Ministry of Science and Technology (Taipei)105-2112-M-008-002-MY3
Ministry of Science and Technology (Taipei)106-2811-M-008-081
Ministry of Science and Technology (Taipei)106-2112-M-008-007
Swedish Research CouncilUNSPECIFIED
Swedish National Space Board (SNSB)UNSPECIFIED
University of WashingtonUNSPECIFIED
Charles and Lisa Simonyi Fund for Arts and SciencesUNSPECIFIED
Washington Research FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Large Synoptic Survey TelescopeUNSPECIFIED
Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA)UNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AC02-76SF00515
B612 FoundationUNSPECIFIED
W. K. Bowes Jr. FoundationUNSPECIFIED
P. Rawls Family FundUNSPECIFIED
Weizmann Institute of ScienceUNSPECIFIED
David and Ellen Lee Postdoctoral ScholarshipUNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)759194
Subject Keywords:(stars:) supernovae: general – surveys – (galaxies:) quasars: general
Issue or Number:1001
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190213-135514906
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Matthew J. Graham et al 2019 PASP 131 078001
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:92892
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:13 Feb 2019 22:26
Last Modified:28 Oct 2019 18:30

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